Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 08 January 2021

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 08 January 2021


Government approves Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu & Kashmir

  • The scheme is made attractive for both smaller and larger units. Smaller units with an investment in plant & machinery upto Rs. 50 crore will get a capital incentive upto Rs. 7.5 crore and get capital interest subvention at the rate of  6% for a maximum of 7 years
  • The scheme aims to take industrial development to the block level in UT of J&K, which is the first time in any Industrial Incentive Scheme of the Government of India and attempts for a more sustained and balanced industrial growth in the entire UT.
  • The scheme has been simplified on the lines of ease of doing business by bringing one major incentive- GST Linked Incentive- that will ensure less compliance burden without compromising on transparency.
  • The scheme envisages the greater role of the UT of J&K in the registration and implementation of the scheme while having proper checks and balances by having an independent audit agency before the claims are approved.
  • It is not a reimbursement or refund of GST but gross GST is used to measure eligibility for industrial incentives to offset the disadvantages that the UT of J&K faces. Earlier schemes though offered a plethora of incentives. However, the overall financial outflow was much lesser than the new scheme.

Major Impact and employment generation potential:

  • The scheme is to bring about a radical transformation in the existing industrial ecosystem of J&K with emphasis on job creation, skill development and sustainable development by attracting new investment and nurturing the existing ones, thereby enabling J&K to compete nationally with other leading industrially developed States/UTs of the country.
  • It is anticipated that the proposed scheme is likely to attract unprecedented investment and give direct and indirect employment to about 4.5 lakh persons. Additionally, because of the working capital interest subvention, the scheme is likely to give indirect support to about 35,000 persons.

Panel was formed for issues of culture and language in Ladakh

  • The Centre today decided to form a committee, headed by the Minister of States (MoS) Home G Kishan Reddy to resolve the issues related to the conservation of Ladakhi language, culture, ethnicity, land, jobs and participation of locals in development projects.
  • A decision in this regard was taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a meeting, which he had with senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), said an official.
  • Before this, the Home Minister met a 10-member delegation from Ladakh here at his North Block office, where representatives from the union territory (UT) expressed their concern with regard to conservation of language, culture, land and participation of the people in the development process. The committee will have elected members from Ladakh, members of the Ladakh Area Hill Development Council and ex-officio members representing the Centre and the Ladakh administration. “The members of this panel will consider the concerns expressed by the delegation and will make efforts to find an early solution,” said a senior MHA official.

Justice Hima Kohli takes charge as 1st woman CJ of Telangana high court

  • Justice Hima Kohli was sworn in as the new chief justice of Telangana high court at a simple but colourful ceremony in Hyderabad on Thursday.
  • State governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath of office to justice Kohli at Raj Bhavan. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his cabinet colleagues, high court judges, senior state officials and other dignitaries attended the function.
  • Justice Kohli, who till recently served as a senior judge of the Delhi high court, was elevated as the chief justice of Telangana. She replaces justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan, who has been transferred to Uttarakhand high court, following the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium last month.
  • Justice Kohli is the first woman chief justice of the Telangana high court, after it was separated from the combined high court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on January 1, 2019.
  • The section of the 306-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor was dedicated to the nation
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dedicated the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) to the nation.
  • Through video-conferencing, Modi also flagged off the world’s first double-stack long-haul 1.5-km-long container train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli-New Kishangarh.
  • On this occasion, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were also present.
  • The New Rewari-New Madar section of the WDFC is situated in Haryana --approximately 79 km in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts -- and Rajasthan --approximately 227 km in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur, and Alwar districts. 

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Pakistan's military tests guided multi-launch rocket system

  • Pakistan's military said Thursday it successfully conducted a successful test flight of a rocket system capable of carrying a conventional warhead up to a range of about 90 miles.
  • In a statement, miliary leaders said the weapon system, called Fatah-1, will give Pakistan's army "capability of precision target engagement deep in enemy territory." It said President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the military leaders congratulated scientists and troops on the "successful" flight test.
  • The statement provided no further details. Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998, when it conducted underground nuclear tests in response to those carried out by its rival and neighbor India.
  • The nations have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

Israel in deal with Pfizer to speed up vaccine deliveries for data

  • Israel agreed a deal with Pfizer Inc. to expedite deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine so that all citizens over 16 can be inoculated by the end of March, in return for extensive data on the inoculation program.
  • More 1.7 million Israelis, or about 18% of its population, have already received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a larger proportion than in any other country. Officials had warned that pace would slow with new vaccine supplies not expected before February.
  • But late Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement the next Pfizer shipment was now expected on Sunday, and that deliveries would be increased. The deal came after 17 conversations with Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla, he said, adding Israel would serve as a “global model state” and share data with the company and other countries to “develop strategies” to end the outbreak.
  • Israel credits its universal health coverage, centralized system and extensive digitized records for enabling the fast distribution and analysis of the vaccine effort.
  • Netanyahu, whose corruption trial will soon move into a higher gear, is hoping the vaccine program will enable him to reopen Israel’s economy in time to get a boost ahead of the country’s fourth election in two years on March 23.
  • Bank of Israel researchers said this week that a rapid vaccination effort could lead to output expanding 6.3% this year and 5.8% in 2022.


India's GDP to fall by 7.7% in 2020- 21

  • The National Statistical Office (NSO), on Thursday, announced its projections for India's GDP in 2020-21, pegging the Indian economy to contract by 7.7 per cent, compared to a growth rate of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20. 
  • The two successive phases of economic contraction witnessed in the first half of the year confirmed that the economy had entered a technical recession yet the latest high frequency indicators have led several agencies to slightly upward-revise their originally dire forecasts, with the Reserve Bank of India, in late 2020, projecting a contraction of 7.5 per cent (as opposed to its previous estimate of 9.5 per cent negative growth). 
  • On the face of it, it does appear that a recovery is taking place indicated by improved strength in India's Purchasing Managers' Index for manufacturing. India's PMI stood at 56.4 in December 2020 thereby marking the fifth consecutive month that it recorded a figure over 50. Any figure above the 50 threshold is indicative of expansion in economic activity. In the services sector, although the PMI remained over 50 for the third straight month, it is worth noting that it has been losing momentum since October. 
  • Moreover, of the two sectors that the NSO has slated to achieve positive growth in GVA this year, agriculture (3.7 per cent) is one of them, having taken the momentum from the first half of the year into the second. A rumoured increase in government expenditure targeting this sector indicates that the government is looking to double down on agriculture as a vehicle of growth. 

World's first double stack long-hall container train launched in India

  • The opening of this stretch will benefit various industries in Rewari – Manesar, Narnaul, Phulera and Kishangarh areas of Rajasthan & Haryana and will also enable better usage of the container depot of CONCOR at Kathuwas.
  • This section will also ensure seamless connectivity with the western ports of Kandla, Pipavav, Mundhra, and Dahej situated in Gujarat.
  • With the inauguration of this section, seamless connectivity between the WDFC and EDFC will be achieved. Earlier the 351-km New Bhaupur- New Khurja section of the EDFC was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister on 29th December 2020.

Elon Musk named world’s wealthiest

  • South African-born US entrepreneur Elon Musk has become the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $195 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest people. Musk, the chief executive officer (CEO) of both SpaceX and Tesla, had a rather underwhelming response to his crowning glory moment, tweeting “How strange!” adding, “Well , back to work.”
  • Of the 20 wealthiest persons in the world, 14 are Americans, with eight, including Musk, in top 10, according to the Bloomberg Index. With the 49-year-old occupying the top spot, the following persons are at spots 2-10 on the list, as of January 8, 2021.

::Science and Technology::

Analysis of Ancient DNA Reveals Asian Migrations and Plague Outbursts

  • Northeastern Asia has a complex history of migrations and plague outbursts. That is the essence of an international archaeogenetic study published in Science Advances and lead from the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Stockholm University. Genomic data from archaeological remains from 40 individuals excavated in northeastern Asia were explored in the study.
  • “It is striking that we find everything here, continuity as well as recurrent migrations and also disease-related bacteria,” says Anders Götherström, professor at the Center for Palaeogenetics at Stockholm University and one of the Principal investigators of the study.
  • The scientists discovered that there were demographic events in the past common for the whole Lake Baikal region. For example, around 8300 years ago there was a migratory event discernible both east and west of Lake Baikal. But there were also events specific for each of the two areas. While the areas west of Lake Baikal provides evidence for recurrent migrations and intense mobility, the areas east of Lake Baikal preserved a long-term continuity for thousands of years, apparently with limited mobility from other areas.
  • “It is intriguing that our data reveals complex and contrasting patterns of demographic change in one of the least populated regions on earth; including notable gene flow and at the same time a genetic continuity without major demographic changes in the two areas around Lake Baikal,” says lead-author Gulsah Merve Kilinc, former postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Stockholm University and currently Lecturer at Department of Bioinformatics at Hacettepe University in Ankara.


Leicester’s Vardy, Maddison expected to miss FA Cup tie at Stoke

  • Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and playmaker James Maddison are likely to be rested for Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Stoke City to allow them to fully recover from injuries, manager Brendan Rodgers has said.
  • Vardy, Leicester’s top scorer this season with 13 goals in all competitions, is battling a niggling hip problem, while Maddison, who has scored six goals and provided six assists, is carrying a knee injury. Both players did not train this week.
  • “Our two question marks will be with Vardy and Maddison,” Rodgers told reporters. “Both of those players have done really well to get through these last number of games because they’ve been carrying some injuries.”

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